Announcements News Articles / 12.20.2019

Stone & Supler Continue Fight for Rights of Students With Disabilities

title ix regulationsContinuing their passionate quest to advocate for students with disabilities, Kohrman Jackson & Krantz Student & Athlete Defense Attorneys Susan Stone and Kristina Supler spoke Thursday with representatives from the Department of Education Office for Civil Rights (OCR) and Office of Management and Budget (OMB) in a follow-up conversation regarding new proposed Title IX regulations.

Overall, Stone and Supler are pleased to see that the Department incorporated many of their prior suggestions into the regulation’s language. They are encouraged that the Department is taking positive steps to consider students’ mental health, special needs and developmental level when confronted with Title IX allegations.

While Stone and Supler commended the Department on the added procedural protections to the regulations, they made the following additional observations and recommendations:

  • Mandatory hearings for alleged Title IX violations are inappropriate for students at the elementary and secondary education level, when considering their maturity, impressionableness and awareness;
  • The applicability of the regulations should strive to take into consideration the mental health status, IQ and executive function capabilities of the students in question;
  • Students subject to an investigation must be given the opportunity to examine any evidence against them, especially medical reports, when medical issues are part of a student’s allegations in a matter;
  • Immediate suspension from extracurriculars following the filing of a Title IX complaint is detrimental, serves only to alienate the accused student and cut off any support, and improperly implies a finding of responsibility prior to any investigation or adjudication; and
  • The three-year recordkeeping of informal resolutions following alleged Title IX violations negates all advantages of informality, and creates a paper trail implying responsibility to the formerly accused student when no such responsibility was found.

Stone and Supler are hopeful that the Department will strongly consider their recommendations in adopting the new regulations, continuing to strive for a fair process for all students.

If you have any questions or would like to learn more about KJK’s Student & Athlete Defense practice, please contact Susan Stone at scs@kjk.com or 216.736.7220, or Kristina Supler at kws@kjk.com or 216.736.7217.

 

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